African airlines in March recorded an 11. 2 percent increase in passenger traffic compared to the same period last year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said.
A statement on Thursday by IATA’s Director General, Alexandre de Juniac, on its website, said African airlines continued to enjoy very strong demand.
de Juniac noted that the 11.2 percent increase was more than twice the five-year average pace of 4.8 percent.
He said, “Airlines here are seeing healthy growth on routes to and from Europe as well as Asia, while the region’s two largest economies — Nigeria and South Africa — continue to improve.
“Capacity climbed 6.7 percent and load factor strengthened 2.9 percentage points to 71.0 percent.”
According to him, global passenger traffic results for March 2018 showed that demand rose by 9.5 percent, compared to the same month a year ago and the fastest pace in 12 months.
The IATA boss said capacity grew 6.4 percent and load factor climbed 2.3 percentage points to 82.4 percent, which set a record for the month, following on the record set in February.
He said, “Demand for air travel remains strong, supported by the comparatively healthy economic backdrop and business confidence levels.
“But rising cost inputs, particularly fuel prices, suggest that any demand boosts from lower fares will moderate going into the second quarter.”
He said the strong first quarter provided healthy momentum heading into the peak travel period in the Northern Hemisphere.
According to him, benign economic conditions are supporting and being supported by good demand for air travel.
“It’s a mutually-beneficial effect that smart governments recognise and encourage by embracing affordable, quality aviation infrastructure and reasonable commercial regulation,” he said.